Chapman to Pitch, Cuba Playoff Crazy

By Circles Robinson

Aroldis Chapman in his old Holguin uniform.

HAVANA TIMES, March 4 — Aroldis Chapman, the 22-year-old Cuban lefty who signed a US $30 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds will debut with the US Major League Team on Monday in an exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals, announced Red’s manager Dusty Baker, reported AP.

Meanwhile in Cuba, Chapman’s old team Holguin made a late season run but fell short and didn’t make it into the playoffs that have the island’s fans on edge.

The best-of-seven quarterfinal series’s are underway with Industriales, Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila and Havana Province all one game away from the semifinals and eliminating Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Cienfuegos in that order.

The Cuban press does not cover athletes who leave the country to play professional abroad.  However, baseball fans still keep up on the island’s players as best they can.